GM Beats Estimates as Europe Loss Narrows

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DETROIT (TheStreet) -- GM beat earnings estimates despite weaker results in North America, Asia and South America.

Excluding items, the automaker earned 67 cents a share in the first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated 54 cents. Revenue fell 2% to $36.9 billion; analysts had estimated $36.6 billion.

Including items, GM earned $865 million, down 14%, or 58 cents a share.

In premarket trading, GM shares were up 87 cents to $31.05.

The automaker reduced its European loss to $175 million from $294 million in the same quarter a year earlier. In North America, earnings before interest and taxes declined to $1.4 billion from $1.6 billion. In Asia, EBIT fell to $495 million from $521 million. In South America, GM lost $38 million, down from EBIT of $153. Overall EBIT was $1.9 billion, down from $2.2 billion.

"The year is off to a solid start as we increased our global share with strong new products that are attracting customers around the world," said CEO Dan Akerson in a prepared statement. "In addition, we saw progress in Europe thanks to strong cost actions and great vehicles like the Opel Adam and Mokka."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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